Full Council - Wednesday 24 May 2023, 11:00am - Start video at 0:04:24 - Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Webcasting

Full Council
Wednesday, 24th May 2023 at 11:00am 









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the morning, ladies and gentlemen,
as I announced that the early extraordinary meeting with the mayor Councillor Godfrey band, is indisposed, so rather unusually, I will be chairing this meeting.
before we formally open proceedings, I am delaying the start of this meeting in order for us to conduct a short prayer, which I should ask the Reverend David commander to lead
as usual if anyone would prefer not to observe the prayer, please take this time for a moment of personal reflection or you may withdraw from the Chamber if you wish the meeting will start immediately afterwards.
let's just take a moment to.
all Godfrey and our thoughts and our prayers and his family.
pray for his health and his recovery.
we thank God for his service as mayor
this last year.
we pray for Hugh as he takes on this mantle for this coming year.
and, as we gathered for this meeting,
help us Lord, to be mindful of our responsibilities,
the privilege of being called to serve.
keep us mindful
of our responsibility for respectful listening.
keep us mindful of the needs of those with no voice
for whom we are elected to serve.
all this we ask in your name, Lord
please be seated.
he just extinct.
members of the Council invited guests, officers and members of the public plus those joining this online, welcome to this annual meeting of the Council on Wednesday, the 24th of May 2023, where we will be electing a new mayor for the borough.
as we have so many guests today, I shall ask the Chief Executive to make the procedure announcements chief executive,
thank you miss, Mr. Deputy Mayor.
in the event of the fire alarm ringing continuously, you must immediately evacuate the building at walking pace officers will escort you via the most direct available route to leave the building, and please, no one is to use the lift. we will assemble outside the entrance to Town Hall Yard, car park and once one road and a check will then be made to ensure everyone has safely left the building and please do not re-enter the building until advised that it is safe to do so. this is a public meeting, and proceedings are also being webcast live online, a recording will be available for playback on the council's website shortly afterwards,
any third party may also record or film council meetings unless exempt or confidential information is being considered, but we are clearly not liable for any such recordings.

1 Apologies for absence

for members of the Council. Please use the microphones when you're speaking and turn them off when you finish the red light indicates the microphone is on and any comments that are not recorded may not be included in the minutes of the meeting.
At the end of each debate, the Mayor will ask for the matter or whether the matter is agreed in the absence of a clear majority, or if the Mayor decides a full vote as desirable, a vote will be taken by a show of hands. Any member requesting a recorded vote must do so before the vote is taken. And finally, if you have a mobile phone, please ensure it is either switched off or set to silent mode. Thank you
we move to items on the agenda.
agenda item 1 is apologies for absence chief executive,
thank you, Mr. Mayor, we've received apologies from Councillors, barrington King bland, fair-weather good ship Hall, Holden, Johnson McMillan, March, Opara and White
thank you, item 2 is to receive any declarations of interest in accordance with the Members' Code of conduct.
as any member, any declaration of interest to make in respect of any item on the agenda today.

2 Declarations of Interest

I see none, thank you. we'll move on to the next item,
agenda item 3 election of the Mayor, I'm going to ask the Chief Executive to introduce the next item.
thank you, Mr. Deputy Mayor,
item 3 on the agenda is the election of the Mayor for the ensuing Municipal Year.

3 Election of the Mayor

I will now take nominations for the election of the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for 2023 to 2024.
I propose Councillor Pattison, as mayor of the borough, for the Ms municipal year from the 24th of May 2023 to the date of the annual meeting in 2024.
thank you, Councillor Warren, Councillor Schaeffler, I understand you'll be seconding the motion,
yes Mr. Chief Executive, and I reserve my right to speak, thank you.
so we have Councillor Pattison, duly nominated and seconded for the position of mayor, does anybody else wish to speak on this motion?
Councillor Chappell, of having reserved your right, would you like to,
would you like to say your words?
thank you, Mr. Mr. Chief Executive.
if you have a drive down
5 0 green on one of the lamppost as a rather large poster,
with Hugh Parsons photo on it,
requesting your support in the forthcoming elections now, the first thing you should know that that's illegal in the borough.
because there is no bylaw in our borough that allows, unlike some metropolitan boroughs, to advertise political campaigns, but clearly that's a sign that shoe is venerated, incapable
as as a Member for Cable, and
he won his re-election after successive wins and losses like a yo-yo of a football team in a in in and out of the Premiership.
with a score that even Mr. Putin would be happy with,
but in a fully democratic, open election, and I think that represents the calibre that hue is as a as a representative of cable.
clearly, people really care and value the public service that he makes and continues to do, and I just want to wish you all the best in his year and thank you personally for me for all the wisdom and guidance you've given me in the last year in my current role and we wish you all the best for this year.
Councillor warns, you want to add anything to that.
no, thank you.
so, councillors, the motion is that Councillor Patterson be elected Mayor of the Borough for the ensuing Municipal Year, ending on the date of the annual meeting 2024 are we agreed?
I declare that Councillor Patston is hereby elected Mayor of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells and Councillor passim, will you please join me at the centre, is able to make the declaration of acceptance of office?
so I always joke. This feels a little bit like a wedding, because I am going to ask Councillor Patterson to repeat some words after me, but don't worry nothing. Nothing is going to happen as a result.
so, Mr. Mayor, if you could put please repeat, after me, I Hugh Patterson,
I Hugh Patterson,
having been elected to the office of the Mayor of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells,
having been elected to the office of the Mayor of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells,
declare that I take that office upon myself, declare
that I take that office upon myself and
will duly and faithfully fulfil the duties
of its and will duly and faithfully fulfil the duties of it.
According to the best of my judgment and ability,
according to the best of my judgment and ability, I
undertake to observe the code of conduct. I
undertake to observe the code of conduct
for members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
for members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
Thank you. So if I can just ask you to an sign just there for me.
I shall countersign.
and I can formally congratulate you on becoming mayor actually.
and so, ladies and gentlemen, we're now briefly going to retire so that we can best the newly elected Mayor in the mayoral ropes. and we will return very shortly.

3 Election of the Mayor

please see to it.
I would like I would like to thank you, fellow Councillors, for entrusting me with this position this year, I will do my very best over this year to represent the borough and look forward to visiting as many communities within it as is possible.
can I also pay tribute to Godfrey, in his absence for his excellent example of a service which he has set us for this year,
I can only hope to emulate his example in 2023 21 24,
I would also like to announce that I will have two charities for this coming year.
they are, firstly, the Paddock Wood community advice centre
is a charity largely run by volunteers who avoid legal housing and other advice free to local residents, and obviously it is a close to the ward that I represent, so this has a particular importance to me.
and secondly, the second charity is the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS NHS hospital charity, which raises funds for the hospitals and its patients within it. and I thought this was particularly appropriate in the 75th anniversary of the NHS.
I would also like to announce my chaplain for the year, with Reverend Dr Jeremy Ive, whose benefits includes 5 0 Green Chudley and Cable
and the Mayoress for the year, will be my wife, Sandra Patston, and if I could now ask Santa to come and join me at the
thank you agenda item 4
is presentation of badges, the immediate past Mayor and Mayoress

4 Presentation of Badge to the Immediate Past Mayor

ordinary so ordinarily, this will be the point where we would present badges to the immediate past Mayor and Mayoress to commemorate their year of office and thank them for their hard work on behalf of the Borough Council.
I will ensure we will do this at a future meeting.
ITEM 5 appointment of the Deputy Mayor in shoes in ceiling municipal year,

5 Appointment of the Deputy Mayor

we should now proceed to agenda item 5 for the appointment of Deputy Mayor, the ensuing municipal year. having been duly nominated our previous meeting, I will invite Councillor Sankey to move the nomination
thank you, Mr. Mayor, yes, I would like to move the nomination for the appointment of Nicholas Pope until Councillor Nicholas Pope as Deputy Mayor for the Borough Council for the municipal year 2023 2024,
thank you, Councillor Chappell are understandably setting seconding this motion.
yes, Mr. Monaghan, like to reserve my right to speak, thank you.
does anybody wish to speak on this motion, Councillor Sankey,
thank you, Mr. Mayor,
it gives me great pleasure to nominate Nicholas Pope for the role of Deputy Mayor, I did cover this some of this in the last full Council meeting that was, I don't often wish to repeat myself, I'm rather fond of Nick, so I shall
I first became a for first encountered Nick Pope via his Tunbridge Wells, foodie Twitter, account which he uses to promote and give opinion on local eateries and food retailers.
and that was some time before we actually met, rather than via the rather excellent tweddle meetings that Nicky's to attend, with a good number of other local Twitter users, which is another great passion of his, I recall that there was once a fact bounded around the Nick was a more prolific tweeter than Donald Trump.
Nick has always been at the forefront of all things enabling community, and you only have to look at the number of schemes he's involved in to see how passionate he is about all things Tunbridge Wells,
in fact, only last night Nick was pounding the pavements and temperatures again with leaflets promoting the Tunbridge Wells yard sale.
I can't remember the exact timelines or dates, but I was once invited to a presentation for a new theatre and civic complex.
project being held here in the town hall at the time I was the chair of the Pubwatch scheme, which falls under the CFU, and it was not an ordinary for me to be in the Town Hall and invited to such things. but upon walking in, I remember, seeing Nick in the front row and I thought to myself
this is probably a bit more serious than I first thought.
sure enough, it was, and I didn't realise at the time, and neither did the former council leader David Jukes, but it was at these events that would be the catalyst for the biggest change in the political structure of this Council for the foreseeable future.
as the saga dragged on, I watched Nick and his new friends from new friends form a brand new political party, wins seats and of course, eventually defeat what most people in the town considered quite a hare-brained scheme,
always happened in a town where apparently you could stick a blue rosette on a pig and it would when it's quite remarkable Nick
Nick open the door to this chamber for those who do not have a political home in the traditional national sense and in fact looking around me here. is well and truly wedged open
I think we take for granted what Nick has achieved in a very short space of time, Nick set up a new political party within a month or two was sat here in this Council, having won an election. since then, the party has grown to 11 members, has become become a part of the in the ministry administration and has, without a doubt, become an everlasting fixture in this town's political history.
but it doesn't end there, Nick is also on the front line, fighting for a new and fair politics, and it's through this work that he was nominated for civility and political in politics, or was something that we certainly need more of
I'm really proud to call Nick a friend and genuinely cannot think of a more fitting person to become Mayor of this Borough or Deputy Mayor of this Borough to lead by example, at a time when, in some corners, politics is becoming rather distasteful, Nick is the perfect person to lead by example in what's sure to be a very exciting time as we move from 48 to 39 Councillors, thank you.
thank you, Councillor Sankey, does anybody else want to speak on this motion?
Councillor Chapman.
thank you, Mr. Mayor, and in 2018 Nick won his seat in Park Ward, which was a bit of an earthquake in terms of Wells, as Matthew has said, but I remember the press were very keen to get their hands on him immediately after he was elected and I managed to shove him into a corner at Parklands leisure centre and take lots of photos of him and it was more reminiscent of a photo lineup in the police station than actually celebrating what was a remarkable win for Nick and I'm really delighted that Nick hasn't stayed in his box that people wanted to put him in but he's served his community and being a great champion for Park Ward. the thing that amazes me about Nick is I gave up trying to compete with him on Twitter in terms of the volume that he does,
and I suppose you're going to have to slow down just a tad as as Deputy Mayor
but what's amazing about NYC's Twitter feed if you ever look at it is how much how responsive the is to residents, there will often be a reply to residents, he will go and find the information and provide them with the answers and it's almost like a council call centre on Twitter with Nick running it and I think that's amazing
I think Nick will be a fantastic Deputy Mayor and ambassador for the borough and I'm delighted to second his nomination, thank you, Mr. Mayor,
thank you, Councillor Chappell, there will be a slight to speak on the motion.
thank you, the motion is that Councillor Nicholas Pope be appointed Deputy Mayor of the Borough for the ensuing municipal year, ending on the date of the annual meeting that 20 and 24 are we agreed.
the vote is carried. Councillor Pope,
Will you please join the chief executive at the centre table to make the declaration of acceptance of office?
so it's on basically a repeat of what we've just been through with the mayor, so if you could please repeat after me I Nicholas Pope.
I Nicholas Pope
having been appointed to the Office of the Deputy Mayor of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells,
having been appointed to the Office of the Deputy Mayor of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells, declare
that I take that office upon myself,
declare that I take that office upon myself and
will duly and faithfully fulfil the duties of its
and will duly and faithfully fulfil the duties of it
according to the best of my judgment and ability according
to the best of my judgment and ability
I undertake to observe the code of conduct
undertake to observe the code of conduct
for members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
for members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
you very much, so can I just ask you to sign there for me.
thank you.
so can I graduate
you on the
North elections, Deputy Mayor?
so I'm afraid that the Deputy Mayor doesn't get to go out and get changed in the mayor's parlour, he gets robed in situ, so I'm just going to pause for a minute while he gets vested with his row of office and chain of office.
thank you said you won't just pause for a couple more photos,
thank you,
and I'm now going to invite the Deputy Mayoress to come to the centre table to receive her badge of office, so can I ask Ingrid Pope, to please join the Deputy Mayor at the centre table?
thanks very much.
no return to the diocese now.
Councillor Pope, would you like to say a few words?
thank you.
I would just like to take the borough councillors here for considering me for this role, it's a great honour and I hope I look forward to.
working on behalf of the Barrett, as Deputy Mayor.
thank you.
we now out we now turn to Item 6 on our agenda, the return of persons elected to the Barrow council chief executive, can you please report?

6 Return of Persons Elected to the Borough Council

thank you, Mr. Mayor, I William Benson, the duly appointed returning officer for the Borough Council elections held on the 4th of May 2023 to hereby written the names of each of the persons elected Borough Councillors, as set out in the schedule on pages 9 and 10 of the agenda papers
thank you. The next item is to approve the allocation of seats to political groups and appoint members to committees
I draw your attention to the proposal set out in the supplementary pages

7 Appointments to Committees & Political Balance 2023/24

I'm going to ask Councillor Shepherd to move the motion.
thank you, Mr. Mayor,
I'd like to propose the item.
and the Councillor Warner you seconding the motion,
yes, Mr. I'd like to second this motion and reserve my right to speak.
thank you, Mr. Mayor
events in Ukraine where some who wished to overtake overturn the democratic will of a people sadly continues, but it reminds us that we are fortunate that in our country, for all its faults and contradictions, our democratic process works and this month's local elections voters made their choice and the paper you've got in front of you is the political balance on committees based on those elections.
I'm delighted to see the continuation of our administration, the borough partnership,
and we continue to work with one single and only objective doing the best for our residents and our borough.
as I did last year, I want to make the courtesy of full Council of announcing my cabinet,
I've asked the following CAB Councillors to serve in Cabinet
Councillor Nancy Wall will serve with responsibility for communities and Deputy Leader.
Councillor Justin Rutland will take charge of economic development, Councillor Jane Sharratt will take charge of carbon reduction and sustainability, Councillor Hugo pounds will look after housing and planning Councillor Fitzsimons will look after sport, leisure and health. Councillor Ella, Neville will look after environmental services and Councillor Christopher Hall will look after finance and performance. In addition to the cabinet members, I've appointed seven champions to help deliver the Council's focus on five priorities.
Councillor Peter Lidstone continues as walking and cycling champion Councillor Matthew Sankey continues as local business champion, Councillor Alex Brits' Alan, will take responsibility for charities and the voluntary sector champion Councillor Mark. Ellis continues with Town Market Champion
another pointed Councillor Stephen McMillan, as planning champion Councillor David Knight, as rural communities champion and Councillor Paul Roberts, as armed forces covenant champion,
thank you, Mr. Mayor.
thank you, Councillor Chapman said the matter is now open for debate,
Councillor warns, you want to use your right to second.
without saying sorry,
I don't envy
Councillor Chaplin, leader of the council and all the group leaders, in trying to sort out in a very short space of time,
with some new councillors in their groups to people to put forward towards Committee, so I think they've done an amazing job in trying to
make everybody happy and and suit those who expressed an interest in various committees but obviously that's not always going to happen but I think what we've got before us. is
a set of committees and also an involvement with the champions and the Cabinet, that's that much more inclusive, and that's the way that I think this Council is working, that we're trying to include all those who want to take a more active role in the work of the council through these through these new roles, so I would like everyone all councillors, please to support this motion. Thank you very much, Mr. Mayor.
your council will, and so the motion is to approve the allocation of seats to political groups and appointments to committees are we agreed?
thank you
agenda item 8 is urgent business.
but I can confirm there is no urgent business for the council to consider this morning.

8 Urgent Business

agenda item 9.
it is a common seal of the council.
so I so move.

9 Common Seal of the Council

Councillor Pope, are you happy to second
second the motion,
thank you, the motion is to authorise the Common Seal of the Council to be affixed to any contract minutes' notice or other documents arising out of the minutes or pursuant to any delegation authority or power conferred by the Council are we agreed
agenda Item number which is a bit odd in here, but I think it's agenda item 11, I finally get to
so agenda. Item 11 is date to the next meeting. The date of the next scheduled meeting is Wednesday, the 5th of July 2023. Before I close the meeting, I would like to invite members and guests to a short reception in the foyer bar at the Assembly Hall theatre,
where I think representatives, my charities will be there as well.
Please could you remain in the Chamber and follow instructions of the officers to ensure everyone can leave safely.
Thank you. I look forward to working with all of you during the numerous new municipal year because the meeting, thank you